*This event is occurring as a live webinar. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the program; please continue to register.*
Built in 1877 to carry an important railway line across Erewash Valley in Nottinghamshire, Bennerley Viaduct is one of the two last remaining wrought-iron viaducts in England. Although the structure has been out of use since 1968, efforts to demolish it have failed, facing local resistance and objection. Today, a group of local volunteers, supported by the site owners, are aiming to reconnect the communities on either side of the Erewash River. Spotlighted by the 2020 World Monuments Watch, Bennerley Viaduct is being revitalized as part of a UK-wide and global movement to transform disused railway routes into trails for walking, cycling, and to strengthen social ties, health, and well-being.
Join us for an On My Watch virtual discussion on the plan to restore Bennerley Viaduct and transform it into a recreational venue encouraging outdoor exercise and community gathering, putting heritage at the heart of health and well-being. The conversation will feature Kieran Lee, Community Engagement Officer from the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, and Tim Dunn, railway architecture historian, author, and broadcaster/TV presenter. The event will be hosted by WMF Britain Executive Director John Darlington.
Tim Dunn, railway architecture historian, author and broadcaster/TV presenter
Kieran Lee, Community Engagement Officer, Friends of Bennerley Viaduct
John Darlington, Executive Director, WMF Britain
About the speakers:
Described as the “breakthrough star” co-presenting BBC Four’s surprise TV hit Trainspotting Live, Tim Dunn is an unashamedly enthusiastic broadcaster and a delightfully engaging transport historian. He’s been a radio presenter, railway museum curator, public speaker on heritage, Ladybird books and museums, adviser to African governments—and an author. As a passionate railway enthusiast and a joyful encyclopaedia of quirky transport history and design, Dunn has hosted live broadcasts for the UK National Railway Museum aboard Flying Scotsman, presented hugely popular train-themed videos for Londonist and heritage railways, helps run the Sierra Leone National Railway Museum, volunteers for the Postal Museum and Mail Rail (London’s remarkable underground Post Office Railway), and blogs for the London Transport Museum.
Kieran Lee has been working on the Bennerley Viaduct Project as Community Engagement Officer since January 2016. Lee is a retired special needs teacher who has a keen interest in the conservation of the Erewash Valley. As a walker, cyclist, and local resident, Lee is keen to see the viaduct reopened with the community playing a central role in its future.
John Darlington, an archaeologist and author, joined World Monuments Fund (WMF) in 2015 to lead the British affiliate. Prior to joining WMF, he led projects for the UK’s National Trust focused on historic mansions, gardens and landscapes across North West England. He also served as County Archaeologist for Lancashire, and is a specialist in medieval towns and landscapes, castles and abbeys. Darlington is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, and a Professor of Practice at the University of Wales Trinity St David. He holds a BA from Lancaster University, an MA from the University of Birmingham and an MSc from Liverpool John Moores University. He is also the author of over 50 publications, and a regular contributor to The Art Newspaper and other journals.
About On My Watch
On My Watch is a series of conversations inviting architects, urban planners, preservationists, local stakeholders, and WMF project managers to explore the political, cultural, and technical issues around the preservation of at-risk cultural heritage sites on the World Monuments Watch around the world.
World Monuments Fund and AIANY Historic Buildings Committee